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The Iraqi election could be considered a success if turnout is over:
75 percent. it must be truly excellent to be considered a success.. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
50 percent. If it's good enough for America, it's good enough for Iraq. 60%  60%  [ 6 ]
25 percent. All things considered, that's impressive. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
10 percent. It's only a step in the process, after all. 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
It can't, it's already rotten to the core. 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 10
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:27 pm 
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Okay. Iraq's big day is <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20050129/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_overseas_vote_1">underway</a>, their much touted election.
(oh, in case you missed it, it's no longer also the handover day. Dubya has quietly <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=4&u=/nm/20050129/ts_nm/iraq_bush_dc_1">changed that part too</a>...enjoy your increased chocolate ration, by the way.)

Here's the question. Considering the role model--the <a href="http://www.fairvote.org/turnout/preturn.htm">United States of America</a> (link goes to a breakdown of Presidential election turnout by Fairvote.org)--where would you put the dividing line between "successful election" and "total failure"?

Say, does anybody even know who the CANDIDATES are, and what they stand for?

Edit: I found somebody that claims to know the answer to that last question: <a href="http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion//index.php?ntid=26331&ntpid=0">No</a>. The <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4051977.stm">Beeb may know</a>, but do the people who are supposed to be punching tickets know?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:27 pm 
The voter turnout doesn't determine whether the elections are a success, the voter turnout is a measure of how many people believe that the system deserves a chance.


How many US voters knew all of our candidates? If knowing all the candidates is the metric then the US elections fail it also.

Now if they get a turnout over 50% (Especially in the face of the attacks on the election process, how many US citizens would vote if some widespead group of nuts started bombing polling places?) it would indicate that over half the people believe in the process. Would you willingly risk death for something you didn't believe in? I know I wouldn't.

Is that enough to count as a success? It could easily be argued that it is.

75% would be a very strong indicator of a belief in the system.

Exactly 50% is weak.

Below 50% would indicate that the process really is failing.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:08 pm 
OK, considering the standards for turnout in our own country, I'd say anything above 10% is pretty impressive.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:55 pm 
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<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20050130/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_iraq">New news.</a>

True to form. "Bush had sought to declare victory before the polls even opened in Iraq (news - web sites) on Sunday by arguing that just the fact that Iraqis are voting means success."

What do you think of THAT?

Also

"In an op-ed article published Saturday in The Washington Post, national security adviser Hadley argued that critics have claimed unfairly that the elections will be a failure unless a "certain but never specified" percentage of voters, especially Sunnis, turns out."

Well, that's the very question I'm asking here...I kind of figured nobody really "in charge" asked it.

Why? Because to Dubya, it's a success no. matter. what.
Anything else is unfair criticism.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:24 am 
The success of the Iraqi elections doesn't depend on the percentage voting, although 10% would be a disaster, showing how little law and order there is in the country.

What matters is how the various factions react to the vote. If civil war breaks out, the elections have failed. If the country splits into three or more successor states, the elections will also have failed. Any result that creates a viable national government would be a sucess of some sort.

A cynic would point out that, if the elections provide a plausible or preposterous but sellable ratiionale for the US to leave the country and blame someone else for the whole fiasco, that would be a victory for the administration. The Neocons would be heartbroken, but the realists would be relieved to have the war cease to be an issue in the next two election cycles.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:01 pm 
It's reported to be about 60%. I don't really think what the turnout is matters anyway though. The test is really what happens the first time somebody in power loses an election, and that can't happen for a while yet.

Having said that, I think it's reasonably good news. At least 60% of the poeple think the elections' not a sham, which is better faith that I would have expected anyone in the arab world to have of an occupying western force.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:47 pm 
They were dipping voter's fingers into ink to prevent repeat votes.

These folks were willing to be marked for death for several days while the ink fades in order to vote.

Of course car bombs and RPGs rarely check to see who they're killing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:06 pm 
Ishidan wrote:
True to form. "Bush had sought to declare victory before the polls even opened in Iraq (news - web sites) on Sunday by arguing that just the fact that Iraqis are voting means success."


Iraqi's that are in exile have been voting for a few days now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:09 pm 
Ishidan wrote:
Okay. Iraq's big day is <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20050129/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_overseas_vote_1">underway</a>, their much touted election.
(oh, in case you missed it, it's no longer also the handover day. Dubya has quietly <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=4&u=/nm/20050129/ts_nm/iraq_bush_dc_1">changed that part too</a>...enjoy your increased chocolate ration, by the way.)


A. Handover day was last year.
B. Bush has said that they (the troops) would stay until the elected president told them to leave. This has been stated for almost as long as the iraqi's have been in control of their own interim government.

notes on turnout
more

Quote:
An official with Iraq's electoral commission said it estimated that about eight million people took part, roughly 60 percent of registered voters, but cautioned that the figures were preliminary.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:12 pm 
Kazriko wrote:
Ishidan wrote:
Okay. Iraq's big day is <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20050129/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_overseas_vote_1">underway</a>, their much touted election.
(oh, in case you missed it, it's no longer also the handover day. Dubya has quietly <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=4&u=/nm/20050129/ts_nm/iraq_bush_dc_1">changed that part too</a>...enjoy your increased chocolate ration, by the way.)


A. Handover day was last year.
B. Bush has said that they (the troops) would stay until the elected president told them to leave. This has been stated for almost as long as the iraqi's have been in control of their own interim government.

A. I'm pretty sure Ishidan is referring to an actual turnover of soveriegnty, not the mostly-for-show limited sharing of power with Chalawi.

B. Bush saying something, even if (and especially if) he repeats it over and over again, confirms only that the statement is an official spin point. In terms of describing actual policy, it means next to nothing.

Bush is probably planning on staying in Iraq until he's sure he has brought democracy and freedom to the Middle East. The Neocons will be wanting to stay until they've had a crack at overthrowing the Mullahs in Iran, with an option on taking out the Baathists in Syria. The Rovian realists need to get the Iraqi situation under control in time for the 2006 election cycle. They will try to make sure that a proper request for withdrawal is put forth by the Iraqi president when a plausible scenario for declaring victory is worked out, so Bush can take credit for the pullout and any negative results of the pullout can be blamed on someone else.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:24 pm 
Madcat wrote:
Having said that, I think it's reasonably good news. At least 60% of the poeple think the elections' not a sham, which is better faith that I would have expected anyone in the Arab world to have of an occupying western force.

The Iraqis, in case anyone doubted it, are a brave bunch. They take whtat they can get from whatever oligarchy is in charge, often at the risk of their own lives.

The degree to which the election can be considered a sham is going to depend on future events.

Creating hypocritical political structures is a common and important tactic in international diplomacy. It is sort of like the old image of a school teacher grabbing two kids who are fighting and making them shake hands in public. Odds are that neither kid is sincere in his apology, but the teacher has established the principle of correct behavior and there is now social pressure on the combatants to live up to the standards.

Not holding the election would have only worsened the situation. No false structure, noing to keep the country from devolving into chaos.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:23 pm 
Berken wrote:
Kazriko wrote:
A. Handover day was last year.

A. I'm pretty sure Ishidan is referring to an actual turnover of soveriegnty, not the mostly-for-show limited sharing of power with Chalawi.


That WAS an actual turnover of sovereignty, moreso than the removal of troops would be. He was merely referring to the exit of american troops from Iraq going by his link. Does that mean Germany became sovereign just this last year?

Also. Allawi, Interim prime minister. Chalabi, Liar and current Iranian spy. Try to avoid mixing their names together.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:48 pm 
Kazriko wrote:
Berken wrote:
Kazriko wrote:
A. Handover day was last year.

A. I'm pretty sure Ishidan is referring to an actual turnover of soveriegnty, not the mostly-for-show limited sharing of power with Chalawi.

That WAS an actual turnover of sovereignty, moreso than the removal of troops would be. He was merely referring to the exit of american troops from Iraq going by his link. Does that mean Germany became sovereign just this last year?

The appointment of Allawi was only considered a turnover of sovereignty by the Bush administration and supporters who believe in them or follow their propaganda line. To the rest of the world, it was the American occupiers handing over a few chores to a local puppet.

I'm seeing it somewhere in between. Allawi does seem to be handling some administrative duties in Iraq, but in the few incidents where he was at cross purposes with the occupation leadership, they quickly make sure---in public---that everyone knows he can't give them any orders.

The little public announcements they would make when this occurred (and it hasn't happened in a while; I suppose Allawi's people learned where not to push) were not good for our foreign policy, but necessary for American domestic politics. One of the guiding principles of the modern, nationalist conservative movement is that American troops should never, ever serve under foreign leaders. So neither Allawi's government or the newly elected government will truly be sovereign until the Americans leave.

This was not an issue in Germany, as there has not been a war on their soil since 1945 and right-wing complaints on the topic were routinely ignored all through NATO's history. The NATO chain of command procedures certainly include limited provisions for American troops taking direction from European civilian and military leaders, but it is difficult to make bureaucratic regulations of this sort an emotional political issue.

Environmentalists have the same problem with complaints about our anti-pollution laws being challenged by foreign governments under provisions of trade treaties. These can also be said to be a violation of our sovereignty, but the argument never catches fire in the media.

Kazriko wrote:
Also. Allawi, Interim prime minister. Chalabi, Liar and current Iranian spy. Try to avoid mixing their names together.

Thank you.


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